Anonymous asked: Hi I think I'm confused about my gender... I've always felt very feminine (I'm a cis female) but I've never felt like the word "girl" applies to me... I've just always felt like I should be somewhere in the middle of a girl and a boy. But I'm not sure what to do and I'm so confused. I've been told I might be genderfluid but I'm not sure what that means. Do you have any advice?

Hi!

Genderfluidity is when your gender changes. If you’re sort of always somewhere in the middle, you’re not fluid! You might however be genderqueer, or neutrois, or agender, or something else like that that’s not “male” or “female”. I know lots of people who are DFAB (that is, designated female at birth, like you presumably were) femme genderqueer or femme agender! That might be something you’re interested in calling yourself.

Followers?

-Key

benjamin-note asked: for the direct question asking, (boy or girl?) I usually just respond "Im whatever you want me to be" or if its more specific like, are you a girl? I just tell 'em "I can be."

Ha. That’s fantastic.

Anonymous asked: hey, so... how do i correct people when they call me "lady/miss/girl/ma'am" etc? it makes me super uncomfortable but i'm really effing scared to say anything... should i say anything at all? i don't mind being referred to as "she" but all the other stuff, i prefer things like "bro/dude/guy/sir" and have always preferred it, even as a child.

Hi!

That’s a difficult situation. I almost feel like it might be easier to correct people on all of it, including the pronouns, especially if you don’t mind “she” but still prefer something else. That way if they slip on the pronouns, but at least remember the other words, you’re basically sorted. 

I don’t know the people involved, though! I know that for me, people at church only stopped slipping up when I made it extremely clear that those words made me really uncomfortable, and that I would take any use of them as disrespecting me, and that I was not obliged to explain why. People mostly listened after that, because they were forced to confront, basically, “am I such a shit friend/person that I can’t make a small effort not to describe a person by words they don’t like, if it’s that important to them”, and make a choice! And if they didn’t listen and they weren’t people I had to interact with, I stopped interacting with them. 

…And I did include pronouns in that list, but people still used “she”, only they started apologizing for “girl” and “lady” and “woman” and so on. So that might be the way to go. 

Followers? I’m only one person, and I’ve only had one person’s experience. Any suggestions?

-Key

Anonymous asked: i personally dont care for whatever pronouns people use me, or whatever gender they see me as. But, how do i answer the question "are you a girl or boy?"

"No."

-Key

(That’s only partly facetious. It’s a perfectly valid response, and one I give all the time. Or “neither”. “Why don’t you guess?” is another good one, especially when followed up by refusal to confirm any guesses, or just “hmm, interesting” or “why do you think that, now?”. I actually do that with my race a lot as well.)

Anonymous asked: How do you deal with cis people who keep filling up the genderfluid tag saying stuff like, "I'm dfab but like to wear masculine clothes sometimes so I think I'm genderfluid." I mean I don't want to identity police or stop people from questioning their gender but that honestly just isn't what genderfluid means. I guess I just mean how do you deal with the large amount of people who are getting confused and thinking genderfluidity is just changing the way you present?

Short answer: I don’t.

I also don’t use the genderfluid tag (and, tip: if you would rather not be harassed by jerks on Reddit, don’t post anything too personal or potentially whatever in there - it’s apparently one of the ones dudebros like to browse to make fun of.), so it doesn’t really bother me.

That said: I came to gender identity as a concept as a teenager who was alienated by the gender roles enforced by my culture and the one I live in now. I came to gender identity as somebody who knew little more, to start with, than that I felt isolated but that I was a girl, that I couldn’t be anything but a girl, that the best I could do in terms of transgressing the expectations that society put on me was by dressing like a boy. My early transformative moments included cutting my waist-length hair off and buying my first item of underwear from the “wrong side” of a department store.

I’m sure some of the people in the tag will never really consider themselves to not be cis, but I’m equally sure some of the people who appear to be cis now are either bad at wording the way they feel or beginning a journey toward opting out of cisness. 

Unless they say something more general which is misleading, I don’t have the energy to police gender newbies, not about their own journey. (Of course, if they come to this blog, we try to help clarify things for them.)

-Key

Anonymous asked: my genderfluid friend uses hair clips to signify their gender, like on fem days they wear pink/flowery ones and on masc days they wear blue or black ones and that's supposed to tell people their gender. I suppose any jewelry could work like maybe a necklace or a pin.

That’s a good idea! 

iwishiwereabat asked: Hello! Firstly,thank-you so much for this wonderful blog! It's helped so much! Anyways, I've been trying to find a gender identity that I feel comfortable with. I've identified as a cis female for the majority of my life, but as I've come to terms with my sexuality (bi) and myself in general, I feel like that doesn't fit. My gender just feels like a massive splodge of everything. I thought of using pangender as that seems to fit. I was wondering if you/ your followers had any thoughts? Thanks!

Our followers will most likely have pretty varied thoughts, but I’m really cautious about “pangender” as a term. I understand that it’s probably far too literalist of me to assume/interpret it as “all-gendered”, and that’s the premise of my discomfort; if it has more nuance to it, somebody please call me out!

That said. Speaking as one non-white person who definitely isn’t an expert, the term “pangender” reads to me as “pan [current Western] gender”, and as something which erases non-Western gender identities (and the entire concept of gender being completely based on culture), is not something I’m particularly comfortable with. (And if it’s “pangender” as in literally all genders, and not just current Western ones, then that includes culturally specific genders that are not yours to encompass.)

I’ve known people who’ve felt like you to use “neutrois”, if they feel like that massive splodge ends up sort of centred on the middle of the massive pile that is gender. The other alternative I can suggest is not identifying as anything in particular - I’ve basically opted out of intelligible gender labels/identities myself, and my experience is mine to put into words if I want to and none of anybody else’s business otherwise. All that I feel cis people need to know is my pronouns and that I’m not cis.

Thoughts? 

(I’m on holiday for a week starting tomorrow, and may not be timely in responding to replies; if this post is for some reason entirely out of line, please feel free to get Flavia to delete it.)

-Key

Anonymous asked: So lately I've been questioning my gender a lot and one of the things that's been bothering me is that I don't care about my pronouns. He, she, they, it's all good. I LOVE 'he, him' pronouns but it's not like 'she, her' bothers me. And I'm not sure if thats cis privilege talking or if I'm genderqueer. I mean, I know you can't tell me 'You're cis!' or 'You're genderqueer!' and thats something i need to figure out for myself, but the pronouns thing is bothering me a bit and I don't know what to do

Look: you’re not cis. I’m actually going to just tell you that here, because you sound like you aren’t, or at least like you’re very close to making that jump. (There’s no magic “you’re cis” or “you’re not cis”! There’s also no way “figuring out” is about who you “really are”, and not at all about choice - like, at the end of the day the choice to label yourself as not cis is pretty much the same as the choice to not be cis!)

Lots of us don’t really care about our pronouns. Lots more only really care about the set that came with their assigned sex at birth because people who use them despite knowing our gender identities are disrespecting who we are, because that shows what they think of us. There is no right way to interact with pronouns as a non-cis person!

I suspect you will find pronouns that are just a flat-out no for you (for me the first set I knew weren’t right at all were it/its pronouns, and there are particular sets of nounself pronouns that I absolutely cannot have referring to me because of phobias). But either way, there’s nothing wrong with being okay with more than one set! I tend to explicitly say that they/them is the set people should be using, because that’s the set I like best, and I work to make myself feel as safe and comfortable in an environment as possible, but I often give people a couple of other options if they find it difficult.

No pronouns at all is also okay! The first time I met somebody who used pronoun-avoiding techniques when referring to me, it was really weird, but it’s a little less strange now. I don’t know if it’ll grown on me even more! Y’know: “Key likes to dye Key’s hair, and Key thinks this is a really great thing to do for Key.” Maybe that’s something that’s an option for you.

-Key

Anonymous asked: Is it normal to not be a fan of certain neutral pronouns? I really don't want people using they/them on me because for me personally it feels like i'm an other, or being brushed aside when I hear people refer to me as "them." I know a lot of people like to use they/them and that's great! I just feel like an odd one out for not liking those pronouns on myself.

Lots of people dislike particular pronoun sets! I don’t like it/its pronouns at all, for use on myself, for example. It’s perfectly valid and usual!

-Key

Anonymous asked: I read somewhere that men tend to part their hair on the left more and women sometimes on the right but mostly no preference. So to signify what gender I'm feeling like I thought of parting my hair on the left on masc days and on the right on fem days to signify how I'm feeling gender-wise and what pronouns to use.

That sounds like a plan that’ll work with people you’ve communicated this to. Thanks!

windowedxp asked: to the person with multiple pronouns, i recommend making/buying a necklace with colorful charms. each color can represent a different pronoun set--whichever color is visible is the one you want people to use. its pretty, innocuous, and effective. good luck ! congratulations on discovering your identity !

Thanks, that sounds great!

Anonymous asked: To the anon ho was talking about wanting a penis... I identify as a girl most of the time, but during sexytimes for some reason I desperately wish I had a penis. I've experienced this with both male and female partners. So you're totes for goats not alone.

I thought the anon wasn’t alone! Any more of you want to share?
Flavia